Presidents’ Day – Celebrate with the GF Favorites of Your Chief Execs!
By: Christy Toth – Udi’s New Face of Gluten Free
When I hear the term “Presidents’ Day” I immediately think of elementary school crafts, including paper plate George Washington masks, tricorn hats made with paper towels rolls, and “powdered wigs” made of cotton balls.
President’s Day may not be the most celebrated holiday on our calendar, but it is fun to learn a few food related facts about the unique gentlemen who have held our highest office. Abraham Lincoln is said to have liked a plain cup of coffee and boiled egg for breakfast, which I can definitely relate to! Through a little research I also learned that he enjoyed fresh fruit, particularly apples and grapes. It sounds like Mr. Lincoln and I could have had a nice Gluten Free meal together.
Reflecting on President’s Day made me wonder what some of our other Chief Executives liked to dine on, and I was pleased to find that many Presidential favorites are naturally Gluten Free. George Washington often served green beans at his Mount Vernon home, while John Adams drank cider every morning. Thomas Jefferson grew Virginia sweet corn in his Paris garden and James Buchanan was so particular about the quality of his food that special butter was brought to the White House from Philadelphia – in the 1850s! Andrew Johnson’s family had popcorn parties at the White House while simple rice pudding was a favorite with Ulysses S. Grant. Theodore Roosevelt’s breakfast consisted of hard boiled eggs and grits with a cup of coffee so large his son described it as “a bathtub”.
William Howard Taft liked steak, and lots of it, while his successor Woodrow Wilson often requested strawberry ice cream. The Queen of England was served hot dogs by Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor. Cooking was a favorite hobby of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was known to make beef stew for his friends. John F. Kennedy enjoyed a lunch of New England fish chowder. Ronald Reagan will always be associated with jelly beans, which he started snacking on to kick a smoking habit. George H.W. Bush may have liked many foods, but broccoli was NOT one of them.
So what’s popular in the White House today? President Obama enjoys trail mix and berry flavored iced tea, so if you are invited to join him, you can join him in Gluten Free stride!
However, not every reputed Presidential favorite would be popular with our modern palate. James Madison’s wife Dolley supposedly often served oyster ice cream. Andrew Jackson was nicknamed “Old Hickory”, so he often served hickory nut soup to play on the popularity of the name. James Garfield was shot by an assassin; his life delicately hung in the balance for eighty days. Doctors tried a meal of squirrel soup to entice him out of his coma to no avail.
In conclusion, today we encourage you to treat yourself like a President! No matter if you choose a hot dog (on an Udi’s bun, of course) or a dish of strawberry ice cream, make sure you take a moment to indulge in your favorite gluten free treat.You get bonus points for singing “Hail to the Chief” while you do so.
Here some additional fun Presidential foodie links:
- JFK’s Fish Chowder: Presidential Recipes
- How to Stuff Your Face Like a President
- Plate of the Union: The Picky Presidential Palate
- Presidential Food Obsessions
- Presidential Foods and What They Say About Our Leaders